In this post I will be discussing what factor and pieces of information I would take into consideration if I were apart of the Justice Circle of Cole Mathews, the main character from the novel Touching Spirit Bear we have been reading in class for our Youth Criminal Justice Act inquiry!
Cole Matthews has not always been the "offender" he is considered to be now, he has also been a victim, feeling helpless and hurt like those he has harmed. After the countless nights of beatings from his father and non-stop drinking from his mother who never stood up for him, Cole reached a point where he could not contain his anger and hatred for the world around him. He was lost and lashed out in the only way he knew possible. If I were apart of the Justice Circle, I would take the time to empathize and understand what he has gone through. I would make decisions that will help him heal from all of the damage he has endured and grow as a person, while still knowing that his actions were unacceptable and deserved consequences. I believe that I would side with Garvey and Edwin, who proposed that Cole should return to the island and pay for his own supplies this time. I would recognize that he is still young, being under the age of eighteen, and that adolescence is a difficult and vulnerable time when youth are still learning, developing emotionally, intellectually and physically, and in the process of creating and establishing self-concept.